says he don't owe nothin' to nobody!
"Mr. Rizzolo preys that the
court issue an order of satisfaction
of all outstanding fines,
restitution and forfeiture obligations."
INSIDE VEGAS by Steve Miller
March 29, 2010
LAS VEGAS - In his latest show of chutzpah,
attorneys for convicted racketeer Rick
Rizzolo last Friday filed an eleven page MEMORANDUM
OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES with the United States Federal Court asking
that all their client's court ordered financial obligations be waived.
In the document, attorney Ken Frizzell
repeats Rizzolo's long-time defense that un-paid beating victim Kirk
Henry agreed to accept all of his $9 million dollar restitution from
the proceeds of the sale of Rizzolo's now defunct Crazy Horse Too topless
bar, and only from the sale of that one asset, a business that Rizzolo
now states was worth $58 million dollars at the time of the purported agreement.
But, according to this latest court filing,
the Crazy Horse Too's value was ruined by the government, so he doesn't
owe Henry a dime.
There are two important facts missing from
the Memorandum: Rizzolo personally guaranteed to make up the difference
between what the bar sold for, and what he still owed Henry; and that in
order to be worth what he now claims was $58 million, a buyer would have
had to continue the illegal
business practices of Rizzolo in order to generate profits adequate
to pay so much for a worn out converted warehouse next to the tracks.
In anticipation of the bar's failure to
sell, and their ill-gotten fortune being seized by creditors including
the IRS, Rick and his ex-wife Lisa in 2006, liquidated their other
real estate assets and set up a phony bank account off shore in which they
stashed tens of millions in cash.
Since that time, Lisa, with the help of
asset protection attorney John Dawson, has
been doling out hundreds of thousands to her ex husband from the Cook
In the meantime, Rick spent a year in the
federal penitentiary -- with cell phone privileges according to his cell
mate -- but soon after his April 2008 release, was observed by INSIDE
VEGAS sources back gambling heavily in local casinos, all the while claiming
to be broke.
While Henry and the government prepare
for a Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act trial some time this September, Henry's
attorneys have also heard the rumors about Rick's return to the tables,
and issued the following subpoenas hoping to locate his Vegas stash:
Anyone who has lived in Vegas more than
a year knows how protective our casinos are of their whales, especially
when it comes to revealing safe deposit box usage.
Knowing that executives at your favorite
casinos are receiving subpoenas with your name printed on them would be
a high roller's worst nightmare. In past cases, such subpoenas signaled
someone's imminent inclusion in Nevada's infamous Black
Book of excluded persons.
Many heavy bettors keep safe deposit boxes
full of cash in their favorite casino's cashier cage in the event they
get the urge to gamble. Rick Rizzolo is well known for his propensity to
squander tens of thousands cash on the tables, and since leaving prison,
his habits have reportedly not changed.
Two of Rizzolo's favorite casinos are now
under orders by the federal court to produce documents and information
the casinos dread revealing because of the precedent it will set in the
eyes of other high rollers who also keep safe deposit boxes on their property.
In the event the Hard Rock and Venetian balk -- especially when the IRS
is owed millions by one of their prized gamblers -- the casinos could invite
there own IRS audits and other scrutiny by the feds.
I believe the two casinos (more casinos
are expected to be subpoenaed) will reluctantly turn over everything they're
asked for, and after being put in such an uncomfortable position, not be
so willing to roll out the red carpet the next time Rizzolo shows up in
a gambling mood.
Las Vegas' latest image
|Is it a bribe, or
is it a tip?
In Las Vegas, cabbies
hold all the cards
The Portland Tribune
By peter korn
Mar 25, 2010
In Las Vegas, the taxi
drivers and limousine drivers are collecting what some call extortion and
some call the cost of doing business – Las Vegas style.
The drivers are demanding
huge payoffs from the owners of tourist destinations. And drivers are refusing
to take conventioneers and tourists to the clubs that don't pay up, according
to a pending class action lawsuit and a former Las Vegas city councilman.
Like the story of Rick Rizzolo's hidden
fortune, the local Las Vegas news media have left it exclusively up to
INSIDE VEGAS to cover the story of how our tourists are being bilked out
of millions of dollars each year by hotel door men and transportation drivers
who are extorting strip club owners.
Amazingly, this practice was the brain
child of Rick Rizzolo. I
first reported it back in 2002, and the scam has grown to out of control
proportions ever since.
In the above front page story published
on March 25, in Portland, Oregon, our home grown problem is finally being
described accurately. It involves Nevada's refusal to regulate a privileged
industry - taxis and limos. It also embarrasses our town when our dirty
laundry is published on the front page of a neighboring state's major newspaper.
Las Vegas is hyper sensitive to adverse
publicity in other cities, and this latest story being told to potential
visitors from Oregon should help to inspire action within our borders.
The Portland Tribune story,
however, does not report the hardships suffered by Las Vegas residents
when taxi drivers turn off their radios and refuse to pick up locals needing
late night transportation to the airport. Some swing and graveyard shift
taxi drivers refuse to take neighborhood pick ups in favor of making hundreds
of dollars in bribes shuttling strip-club-bound tourists several blocks,
then sit in cab stands outside Vegas clubs waiting for more suckers wanting
to go to other clubs that pay drivers a bounty.
Because our city, county, and state authorities
have shirked their responsibility to regulate the transportation industry,
the LV practice has continued unabated and inspired copy-cat-type scams
in other cities including Portland -- that's until last summer when the
Internal Revenue Service stepped in three years after receiving a two
page letter from a disgruntled Vegas business owner who asked not to
be identified for fear of being boycotted.
Owners of every business that participates
in the extortion were summoned into the local office of the IRS. Following
their interviews, the practice reportedly continued with the ante being
raised to $130 per passenger delivered.
Knowing this, the Special Agents scheduled
a meeting at their offices on March 19, to be attended by all strip club
owners. Sources at the meeting report that the agents told the owners that
they will soon issue a ruling on whether the club owners will be excused
for their past transgressions in trade for an agreement to require IRS
1099 forms be filled out every time a driver receives a pay out.
According to an INSIDE VEGAS source who
attended the meeting, the club owners were told that the IRS' bottom line
is to receive Uncle Sam's share of the previously unreported millions,
or the business owners will face criminal penalties.
As a temporary consolation, the owners
agreed to limit the pay outs to $30 per passenger delivered to their door
until the IRS ruling is issued. It's expected the ruling will come down
within sixty days, and will certainly require the use of 1099 forms.
This may cause a rebellion among certain
drivers who do not wish to pay taxes on what they erroneously refer to
In 2005, Nevada officials threatened to
stop the pay offs. In retaliation, hundreds of cab and limo drivers blocked
the Strip with their vehicles. The state backed down, and transportation
company owners did not take action against their employees for using company
owned equipment in an act of civil disobedience.
But today the IRS is fully informed of
how much unreported cash is changing hands, and the club owners are reportedly
expected to receive an ultimatum within sixty days. Report every transportation
driver pay out on a 1099 form, or face felony prosecution for Title
18 USC § 371, Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud the United
States, which carries a penalty of imprisonment for not more than 5 years,
or a fine of not more than $250,000 for individuals ($500,000 for corporations),
There was no mention of punishment for
the drivers, transportation company owners, and hotel door men. Only payers
are being mentioned for possible criminal prosecution, which should give
certain drivers and doormen some solace.
Sources say that the 1099's will go into
use this summer, and the IRS will stay vigilant along with competing club
owners in the event there is hanky panky. The ones who will benefit the
most are the local citizens who need a cab in the middle of the night,
and future tourists who won't be ripped off in cover charges and padded
bar tabs in order to pay the bribes.
Money, Mob & Influence
In Harry Reid's Nevada - the book coming soon
Leader Harry Reid's connections to a substrata of money, mob and influence
in Nevada going back fifty years. Revelations from Reid's former campaign
manager paints an unkind picture of a politician looking for money on the
side. Most shocking is the claim that Harry Reid took campaign donations
from pimp Joe Conforte of the Mustang Ranch brothel. Also disturbing
are accounts of Reid's long friendship with a lawyer to many of the most
notorious strip clubs in Las Vegas. Oscar Goodman, Las Vegas Mayor
and lawyer to the mob also enters the picture. Sweetheart treatment of
land developers, the G-Sting scandal, fat cat campaign contributors and
more taint the record of one of the most powerful politicians in the U.S.
and therefore the world." -
The author is referring to Las Vegas lawyer
Jay Brown. I've
often written about Brown and his cronies Senator Reid and Rick Rizzolo.
I've also told the stories of Rizzolo's
asset protection lawyer John Dawson and his brother Federal Court Judge
Kent Dawson, along with Jay Brown's law partner Vegas Mayor Oscar
Goodman, and favors they did for Rizzolo and his Crazy Horse Too crew.
I'm told they're all mentioned in this about-to-be released book.
Because of my supposed obsession with Rick
Rizzolo, et.al, one of the questions I'm most frequently asked is "Why
are you the only journalist covering these stories?"
I usually answer, "I'm just making it up
as I go."